Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wittering about towels

In the finest blog tradition of "nothing too trivial" - today I would like to talk about towels. Specifically, clean towels and dirty towels and trucking one or the other up or down to the beach. You go for your last swim and have a shower and then leave; you can't leave your dirty towels there, or put them in the machine, or leave them on the clothesline for when you come back four weeks later. We don't have a dryer at the beach, but I wouldn't leave them in there either. So, you end up bringing them home to wash and taking them back again. And sheets are the same.

This is no trouble to do, it's just that you tend to start obsessing about where the linen is. Did we leave any there? Do we need to take bathmats back down? How many beach towels do we own anyway? Originally I was going to buy nice new towels for home and take the old ratty ones down the beach. But then I got advice from a friend who is very wise in the ways of the beach house (and much else); she said buy new for the beach and make them all the same colour that you don't have at home. Then you know that if you see that colour at any point [in the endless cycle of washing that is our lives], it needs to return to the coast and you can put it in your Beach Cupboard. (Another excellent point, I made a Beach Cupboard too).

So this is why I have a pile of lime green (chartreuse? viridian? malachite?) towels and hand towels and bathmats and face washers. They are all different colours because I have bought them on super special over the last few months and they are different brands from different shops ... but still lime green. And the system works extremely well. The only problem was a teetering pile in the Beach Cupboard, and then I'd try and jam them in a grocery bag without success and end up just piling them in the back of the car. So today I went to Spotlight and spent $6 on a very very ugly striped polyester doubleknit fabric, and made a big fat drawstring towel bag.

Polyester so it can be washed repeatedly, and knit so I didn't have to neaten the edges and it won't fray. I made a sheet bag as well. I am sorry for inflicting all these words on linen management on the internet, but I am really quite pleased with myself, and it will make my life easier. Simple pleasures...


  1. Having them all the same colour is an excellent idea, people think I'm weird because all my kitchen hand towels (not the tea towels) are all the same colour, the idea being that they won't be used as a tea towel.
    Little organisational things like your bags and having the same colour towels etc do make a difference and give you extra quilting time.

  2. I have spent hours fantSising about a beach cupboard. Enjoy!

  3. at one point, before he moved into his own apartment, my son moved in with a couple of friends. they shared a bathroom between three people. i knew he didn't want to share their towels, so i bought him a bunch of the same pattern towels so he would always know which ones were his. and being frugal, read "cheap", i bought a stack of white washcloths and sewed a zigzag stitch in black thread across one corner. that way he knew which ones were his. it also helped when he brought his laundry home for me to do because sometimes i would throw some of our towels in with his if he didn't have enough for a full load.

  4. Yes, these are the things that make life doable. My life improved when I insisted that the (3) children folded their socks together at the top before putting them in the washing basket. From then on (and indeed still) socks get washed as pairs. They then get dried either in pairs in the drier or sitting side by side on the line or the airer so that they can be reunited immediately they're dry. This saved many hours of sock pairing. You do what you have to do.

  5. My dad just uses a laundry basket to truck that stuff back and forth from the beach house. But, he has a big truck with enough room to carry a laundry basket. I use a laundry bag, somewhat like yours, but with holes for ventilation, to move sheets and towels back and forth. We also stick our dirty clothes in the bag as the days pass, and I just shove it in the trunk on the way home. When we unload, I take the bag straight to the washer in the basement.